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lookingup

Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer


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lookingup

so, this isn't a dream, then...

Or else, you guys might just be part of my dream. I guess we're all just dreaming together.

This thing about community, then... It's something that waxes and wanes for me, in that sometimes I feel like I need the community, and sometimes I don't. That's probably pretty common; sometime you need the company of others and their support, and sometimes you just need to be alone for awhile. I've seen a lot of people here go through those times. Some of us get all worried when we see it, and try to make them feel better right away. I know I've done that a few times. You want to be the tearstained shoulder for that person whom you've come to know and care about.

It's a challenge to achieve that delicate balance of listening enough and talking enough, isn't it? Despite the fact that we're all in here talking so much, my guess is that most of us do the most good when we're just listening to someone. Think about it - when someone is talking, they need to be listened to. It's so beneficial for someone who needs to talk to have someone listening who cares about them. Yet another fine point of this little group we have, here.

Has anyone ever tried to figure out how many of us are here? A couple of months ago, I tried interest searches on the most common things I could think of, like sex, food and cats. I think the most hits I got was about 5,000. There must be lots more on here now since that time.

It's almost like a setting for a sci-fi novel, isn't it? You could pretend that we were the last survivors in an alien world, and the only people who understood our language and our culture were the people connected to this network and community. Imagine our earth, lay waste to our overconsumption from generations past, and there are 15,000 of us (or maybe more?), scattered throughout North America and other parts of the world. We communicate to each other through these text messages, using ancient networking technology housed in a glued-together underground infrastructure that's maintained in secret. The network is cryptically referred to as "iweb," a word whose origins are remembered now by only a select few trivia hounds in certain of the older sectors.

Our main character, Haven, is about to come of age, and she aspires to become one of the esteemed network administrators for iweb when she leaves her own sector for one of the connection hub outposts on her next birthday.

During her final training and simulation tests, Haven meets a cool, dark student who appears to know all of the answers to the questions before they're even asked. When she starts to probe him about where he learned all this stuff, he gets a glazed look in his eye, and starts talking about some crazy shit.

"What do you think this is, Haven, some kind of neat little system that's just set up perfectly for you? Look at you - you're working your ass off, memorizing protocols and code, just to become another one of those lines of code in iweb. Haven't you ever considered what iweb actually IS?"

She looks at him blankly, and then a look of indignation crosses her face. "What are you talking about, 'I'm just going to become another line of code?' What the hell is that supposed to mean? I'm an individual, you asshole. I know who I am. I know where I'm going, and how I'm going to get there!"

His eyes softened along with his voice. "Look Haven, a lot of people around here have been asking themselves some big questions about what exactly is going on here. You know, underneath iweb - BEYOND the structure of the damned network, okay? I mean, haven't you ever thought about it? Haven't you ever considered who built iweb, and why? Or who else might be on it, but using a different protocol that we just don't recognize?"

Haven thought about this for a moment. She could remember thinking about some of these things when she was younger, before she began training to become an administrator. She remembered wondering how it was that she became part of this strange, widely-dispersed community, and what had really happened here so long ago that had burned out the sky and made everyone go underground. But she hadn't thought about those things for years now, and they barely even felt like her own memories anymore.

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whipsmart March 16th, 2001
Interesting idea. Sounds very Ray Bradbury-ish. I like it...

writing

iamom March 16th, 2001
Thanks whipsmart, I appreciate that. I know you do a lot writing yourself.

If I'm not mistaken, I think I've heard you talk about your feelings of being a writer. What do you think about that, lately? Do you discuss them in any recent LJ posts? I haven't had time to read them for a little while. I'd be interested to hear about how you do (or don't, I guess) identify yourself with your writing. Is writing a fundamental part of who you are? Do you feel like it forms part of your identity?

Re: writing

lakshmi March 16th, 2001
Sounds like the plot of one of those fantasy games. Have you thought about creating those? Its shades of Myst and Riven! Could be expanded to a good Mad Max or Waterworld type thriller.

Re: writing

iamom March 17th, 2001
I think about creating lots of things, but I've come to realize that I'm really just an ideas man. I only follow through on a fingerful of my ideas - there are usually too many of them coming through at any given time.

But if there was anyone out there who felt like taking that ball and running with it, they'd certainly have my blessing. I wish I could distribute all of my ideas to people who would want to do something with them. Do you think that's a viable website idea? An idea exchange? Someone gets an idea about something - maybe a solution to a problem, etc. - and they post it to its appropriate category on the site. Someone else is looking for an idea about how to do some specific thing, and they search the idea database about their topic and find something useful...

(I'm all about facilitating communication. I wish I could have a job whose sole responsibility was to facilitate communication. The more disparate the groups required to communicate would be, the better (and more interesting) it would be for me.)

Re: writing

fewtch March 17th, 2001
I'm kind of the opposite, IAMOM, I'll get interested in something, drop it, go onto something else... until I have a litter of 100 interests scattered around and stuff I just stick away in closets and forget about...

My bedroom is positively schizophrenic, I have shortwave radios, police scanners (none of which I ever use), a computer system, a CD/MP3 player, all kinds of high tech (and low tech like a turntable) along with pictures on the wall of Buddha, the OM symbol, Dattatreya, pictures of cats from a calendar, a huge red ribbon from last Christmas (on the wall)... and the bedspread on my bed is an old B. Kliban with a picture of a cat with a lip-print on it's muzzle, looks like it belongs in a kid's bedroom... and a walk in closet almost piled to the ceiling with "junque"...

LOL... I think people have come in here before and thought I was a bit nuts :-).

home decor

iamom March 17th, 2001
You know man, that's about the same picture I had in my mind about your place. I think that's beautiful, man. That's a beautiful and natural setting you've just described, there.

I usually have a bit of the creative mess on my desk each day, but I have to admit that I'm far more productive when my working space is more organized. Therefore, you can usually determine my rate of productivity by measuring the amount of loose paper I have on my desk.

I alternate between phases of keeping it correctly filed in its appropriate place, or having piles of "this" and piles of "that" in this and that area of my desk. In the latter case, your ability to find things is severely hampered if your partner comes and moves a pile; therefore, I've devised a system that compromises between these two cases, in which I keep two letter trays on my desk with miscellaneous requirements from me (bills, etc.), and a big file in my filing cabinet called "to be filed." Ingenious system, I think, because it creates the illusion that you have no clutter. It's just that it's filed under "clutter," that's all.

Re: writing

whipsmart March 20th, 2001
I identify with my writing insofar that it's me doing the writing. I can only write about what I know or feel. Anything else for me would be bad fiction. I do believe that writing forms part of my identity, but I don't identify myself by it. It forms my identity like my music, or my breathing. It's something I must do to survive, but I don't survive to write... Am I making any sense to anyone but myself?? hehe

how many .. ?

gwen42 March 17th, 2001
i actually think there are about 69,000 lj users..
i believe our member number reflects how many people there were when we signed up... i am 6k, you are 35k, and a recent journal i created about a week ago for my dreams is 69k ;)

have you seen fight club?
i just finished watching it for the first time.
where are you when i want to talk about it? ;)

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